Dearest Mother and Father

Submitted for Contest #64 in response to: Write about someone who’s been sent to boarding school.... view prompt


Oct 23, 2020


Dearest Mother and Father,                                                                  

Thanks be to you for sending me to live at the Gray Springs Boarding School for Girls. The sign on the outside reads ‘Building Strong and Healthy Young Women Since 1972’. I am reporting they surely do!

When I first arrived I was unwell and living in a fog. The dark air swirled with impossibilities. I suffered so. I merely existed to question myself. Up and down daily. Would life be impossible for me to succeed ? How can I break the shackles of hopelessness?

But see me now!

Oh how my shackles have disappeared!

Now my body is strong and my mind is like a sparkling crystal, dangling in the sunshine radiating a constant rainbow of colors.

Ask the doctors! They will confirm that I have the greatest brain! Also when the angels of Michelangelo are not battling the three-headed dog in my brain they are singing a chorus to my health.

Oh I am so improved! You were right. Living here is just what I needed to become a strong young woman with a healthy mind. You should come to witness my improvement! My days are no longer distressing. They are filled with so many activities just like a beautiful summer meadow full of flowers and butterflies!

I can’t pick which of my days is best as each day of the week is better than the day before.

For example, on Mondays after my studies we gather, sing and tambourine on the corner of Main and 4th. Our music is so uplifting a few passersby throw money into Brother John’s suitcase! Oh I have the time of my life! You should come and hear our uplifting sounds.

I wish you could hear the music we make on the street corner. It is a joyous gift from the heavens.

Another heavenly gift we share is Brother John’s knowledge. When I am in his presence all is well with the world. He sees the best in me. He listens to me. I can ask Brother John anything and he knows the answer. Sister Violet and I agree we could listen to Brother John until the end of time never tiring of his voice.

Oh how Brother John washes my soul with goodness and hope. It is true! Satan fears Brother John. The head demon told Brother John and Brother John told us. Long ago I would have quivered with this knowledge, but I use it for my daily spiritual armor. It’s true I am becoming a Knight of God!

Brother John has the most glorious blue eyes with flecks of golden sunshine. God created John’s hair in shades of golden chestnut brown. Sometimes he pulls it back into a ponytail. But I like it best when he lets his hair down and it falls in gentle locks around his face. Oh and his lips are pink and soft like rose petals. When God speaks to him telling him to kiss me I believe in all the goodness of the world.

Brother John’s voice caresses the air like the gentle flow of water over large smooth river rocks. Even when he speaks about all the non-believers his voice trickles gently like a summer rain.

After my studies on Tuesday, Sister Violet and I count and wrap coins in the chapel next to Brother John’s bedroom. It is not possible to explain how I now enjoy even the simplest of tasks. Counting quarters sounds like a job for a machine. But Sister Violet and I were singled out for our special counting talents. Now when I count I sing! Brother John nods and says we sound like two tiny songbirds enjoying our family tasks and that we are tent posts in our family of God.  

Every other Wednesday, I am dismissed early from school for library study. After my readings I walk with the others to the prayer meeting. Oh how we pray. We pray for everyone! The world is softer and gentler because of my prayers. Brother John said so.

On Thursday I have started omitting classes. Once in my life I was lonely and bored. But witness me now! I belong to The Chapel of Life. So Thursday Sister Lillian and I scour the chapel tile floor and toilets. Brother John says no task is unworthy when it is for God. So even scrubbing toilets is now exhilarating! Remember how I hated to do the dishes and cleaning my room? Well look at me now! No task is beneath me. I am possibly in the best place of my life!

On Friday I skip half of my classes because Brother John holds special meetings. He does this because he cares for us and everyone in the chapel is hungry for his word. After God shares his plan with Brother John he shares it with us. I never imagined I would be this close to the true word of God.

Oh how I love living in the shadow of the heavens. It's as if I float around under a dancing rainbow.

Saturday mornings I get an early start. Brother John says we need to seek out and help all the others who are lonely and lost. Lost sheep can be found everywhere. I remember once being lost, but now I’m found!

Sometimes I fear meeting new people but Brother John says we must sacrifice ourselves and our needs for the good of others.

Speaking of sacrificing, I am in need of more funds. Brother John suggests sending United States Postal money orders. Know that I am not asking for myself, I am asking for all of the others. The world has so many needs. Without funding Brother John cannot speak or fully engage the word of God to the masses. A suitcase on a street corner can only gather so many quarters. So as we go into the sorrow filled darkness and cold of the winter our chapel needs money for all the spiritual orphans only Brother John can nurture.

I do not sleep most Saturday nights. Sister Violet and I stay up praying for the world. Our list is long and we are careful witnesses.

I almost forgot to tell you the best news. Last week Brother John told Brother Lou, then Brother Lou told Sister Mary Louise that God wants Sister Violet to carry Brother John’s child.

I shall be praying for Sister Violet. But see me now! I have prayed and fasted for hours and remain hopeful I am to be the next to be chosen by God to have Brother John’s child.

All my love,

Your loving daughter,

Sister Edwina Elena Chapin

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Zilla Babbitt
15:17 Oct 31, 2020

Here for the critique circle :) This is good. I like how the language is time period-appropriate; it adds another layer. I hope the parents realize what's going on in that convent. Good grief. I don't have that much critique to offer, but I suggest you split this up into more letters, instead of just one long mammoth of a letter. It's more realistic that way, trust me :) I wrote a bunch of "letter" stories when I first started writing. Innocent and yet terrifying. Keep it up!


Evan Rocker
01:46 Nov 01, 2020

OH wow. Thanks so much for your comment and suggestion. I appreciate your timely suggestion a great deal and after pondering it, I realize why you are so so right. This is my first attempt and I know building suspense is something I need to work on. Thanks and I hope you have a great weekend.


Zilla Babbitt
01:51 Nov 01, 2020

Of course! Glad to help.


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